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E-books Go Out of Fashion As Book Sales Revive

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U.K. bookstores report increased demand for physical books

British book stores have good news for bibliophiles, reporting that more people have been buying physical books recently. What’s more, sales of e-readers have apparently slumped according to their reports. Waterstones, a U.K. book store chain which also sells Amazon’s Kindle, told the Financial Times that demand for the e-reader has all but disappeared.

Sales for physical books at Waterstones were also up 5 percent last month, which the company chalked up to its store renovations and allowing store managers to take more control in order to tailor inventory to local tastes.

Meanwhile Sam Husain, the chief executive of Foyles, a London bookstore chain, also told the FT that sales of paper books were up 11 percent this Christmas over last year and that sales of Barnes & Noble’s e-reader, the Nook, were “not as impressive as one would expect them to be.”

“The rapid growth of ebook sales has quite dramatically slowed and there is some evidence it has gone into reverse,” said Douglas McCabe of Enders Analysis. Though it’s hard to say what exactly has caused the apparent slow-down of digital book sales, this does spell good news for fans of physical books in the U.K.: Waterstones now plans to open a dozen stores new stores this year.

[FT]

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